Adventure Island 2 Review
by Daryn


This is the first, and hopefully the last, of the NES Adventure Island games I played. Without reading the manual, or knowing anything about the game's background, this is the impression of the game's story I got from watching the opening sequence: Master Higgins gets bonked on the head by a coconut, and has now lost his marbles. Now, in an effort to find out where his parents, Gilligan and the Skipper, went while he was asleep, (and also to lose some weight), he's gonna run all over the island looking for them. (Okay, I think I read in the manual that he's actually trying to save a princess, or his girlfriend or something, but once again, this is my theory on the true plot of this game.) Higgins decides to go running across the island like a madman, wearing nothing but a grass skirt. (Two games in a row where the hero is a man in a skirt. Apparently when they hand out video games to aspiring game heroes, the cross-dressers always end up with the scraps at the bottom of the barrel.)

The problem is, just about every animal on the island is out to get him. And is it any wonder? He looks like a little fat pig in a damn skirt! Those hungry animals are probably dreaming of roasting him on a spit at a luau. Along the way, Higgs can find power-ups inside eggs. One of these powerups is another freakin' fairy (any bets that this game had the same writer as Astyanax? Hero in a skirt, saving a princess, useless fairy...) You can also find a stone axe, a skateboard (all the usual things you find inside an eggshell), or several different dinosaurs. I have to admit the dinosaurs are the best part. Without them, this game would be much closer to #1 on the list. In fact, it's a shame these poor dinosaurs didn't star in a better game, because they certainly deserve it.

Master Higgins has a lot more energy than most game heroes. In fact, even when you're standing still, he jogs in place. This is why I used to think the ultimate goal of this game was to find the men's room. Higgs has so much energy, and he's so out-of-shape, he has to eat as much food as he can find along the way to keep his strength up. Otherwise he passes out from loss of blood sugar.

To tell the truth, I have no real clue what the goal of this game is. I've never finished it. Personally, I find cutting holes in my socks and rolling apples down the street with a tree branch more amusing and creative. I certainly hope some day that little Master Higgins finds his girlfriend, or parents, or the men's room, whichever it is he's looking for (I'll never know, since I doubt I'll ever gather up enough courage to sit through those boring graphics and levels all the way to the end.)

My breakdown of this game:
Story: 0 - If you can find a story in here somewhere, you're better than me.
Graphics: 1 - The dinosaurs look cool, but that's about it. The rest of the graphics look as though they were lifted from the Flintstones.
Sound: 3 - There's a few catchy themes, about three of them, so that's where those points come from. The rest is bland.
Play Control: 5 - Controlling Higgs isn't difficult, except maybe when using the skateboard, but I just wish he learned from another famous obese game hero a thing or two about jumping.
Hero Rating: 2 - Well I have to give him some credit. Anyone with the courage to pointlessly run around an island wearing nothing but a grass skirt and a baseball cap deserves some notice.
Overall: 4 - 3 points for the dinosaurs, 1 point for the grass skirt.